As if FEMA hasn't done enough already, the agency now believes it can interfere with hurricane victims living in FEMA trailer parks doing interviews with reporters. If there's a reasonable explanation for this, I can't think of it.Residents of trailer parks set up by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to house hurricane victims in Louisiana aren't allowed to talk to the press without an official escort, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate reported.
In one instance, a security guard ordered an Advocate reporter out of a trailer during an interview in Morgan City. Similar FEMA rules were enforced in Davant, in Plaquemines Parish.
FEMA spokeswoman Rachel Rodi wouldn't say whether the security guards' actions complied with FEMA policy, saying the matter was being reviewed. But she confirmed that FEMA does not allow the news media to speak alone to residents in their trailers.
No, that's just crazy. There's no legal way for a government agency to interfere with two First Amendment freedoms, without explanation, simply because the affected Americans happen to have been victims of a hurricane.
Imagine losing your home to Katrina. You feel like your government has let you down. Left with limited options, you're living in a FEMA trailer park, which is on public property. A reporter wants to talk to you about your experiences - but the government tells you that you're not allowed to talk to a journalist without a FEMA representative on hand to monitor what you say.
Asked for an explanation, you're told, "That's just a policy."
I have a hunch we'll see this policy get "corrected" fairly soon. It's inviting a lawsuit FEMA is certain to lose. And as a matter of common sense, it's indefensible.
There is an explanation for this which is pretty obvious although not at all reasonable: our present regime needs darkness to survive. They are trying to keep their incompetence, corruptness, wrong-headed policy, botched implementation of same, and the sheer waste of many billions of tax dollars - our money - from becoming general knowledge. It's so egregious and widespread that it's awful hard for them to hide, due in large part to that "goddam piece of paper", the Constitution, you know, the one that lets you talk to whomever you damn well please even with the hob-nailed jackboot tracks from them stomping all over it.
The troops in Iraq aren't allowed to talk to the media without a minder for the same reason. The "liberal" press gets threatened and called traitors for printing stories that expose governmental law-breaking for the same reason.
From Bush on down, these assholes are scared to death of what will happen if the man in the street, not just us political junkies, finds out what they are up to and how their constant mis-management of everything they've touched has damn near wrecked this country and the world.
I have but one word for them: November.
The link in the quote goes to an article at the First Amendment Center. Check it out.